Hey ya'll hey....
How goes it?! Another good week has flown by here in Charlottesville! Things are slooow but good, they will pick up soon when school starts so it is great. We are losing our teaching pool by the second as they are all moving away to go to school somewhere else. Our most solid investigator Chris, moves this Saturday to go to school in Richmond and he is just soo close. It kills me! It has been so sweet teaching him and watching him go through this conversion process... he is a lot closer than he thinks he is! It will be way fun to go to his baptism down in Richmond when he feels ready! Its awesome cuz the Elders we are handing him down to.... one of them I went to high school with! So that's cool. Who would have thought! He will be in good hands, I am so excited for the day when he enters into the waters of baptism. I cant think of a greater feeling than being able to watch him do that! This work is amazing and the church is TRUE!!! I love it!!!!!
So we have been doing a lot of finding this week... just trying to find some new investigators and it has been way cool to watch how the spirit works as we are trying to find those who are prepared and how much our plans can change just by listening to the spirit. So we were getting ready to leave the apt. one day and we had everything ready to go and I just kept having the feeling that we needed to take the bus..... BUT..... the bus isn't exactly one of our favorite things to do haha so I just kept carrying on but the feeling just kept coming and the spirit kept insisting that we take the bus. Haha so we dropped everything, changed our plans and headed to the bus stop. We were sitting there waiting and sister walker asked which bus we were taking and I just responded that I had noo idea, until someone crossed the street (YSA) to come and wait at the bus stop and we went and talked to him and turns out he has a friend that is Mormon and he just kept saying "ok where is a pamphlet, I will take a pamphlet!" and he was soo excited about it and kept saying that his friend has been trying to get him to take a pamphlet for years! Haha so we gave him one and the bus came and we hopped on with him and had a good conversation with him trying to call his Mormon friend the whole time to tell him that he finally took a pamphlet! He was soo excited it was hilarious. Haha the people here are so great, I hope we get to teach him! But it was just a sweet experience, the spirit is real and it is powerful. it can change your whole day and the outcome of your whole day into something better than what you originally had planned. it may feel uncomfortable and weird at times but I never regret following the spirit, our Heavenly Father knows everything better than we do and if we following the promptings of the spirit we will better be able to do his will and our days will be a lot more successful and happy.
So kind of a funny experience.... we went to contact a less active this week and it was a way pretty drive out in the woods and of course the house we come to is a run down house with piles of junk everywhere and it was just a mess but there were just a bunch of guys hanging around of all ages. Mainly old guys with beards and they all had a beer in their hand and it was sooo sketchay. But we decided to go talk to them anyway and we found who we were looking for and just invited him to church real quick so we could get outta there fast! He was so out of it and just so hard to talk to and slowly all the drunk men started wandering towards us, it was like a bad dream! Haha it was so weird so we got out of there as fast as we could and just told him when and where church was and we even had to tell him what church we were from. he obviously hasn't been in years... haha where else could i have these kind of experiences? its the best. Anyway, we walk into church on sunday and there he and one of the older guys he was with were! Sittin on the front row in the chapel waiting for church to start! Haha it was hilarious. I never would have thought! We were actually pretty sure that they were so out of it they wouldn't even remember that we stopped by! But surprisingly enough they were there and it was so great. I'm so happy they came!
Something i learned a lot about this week is the difference between having a testimony and being truly converted to this gospel. I learned a lot about it and i especially love the story about peter in the bible. Peter was an apostle of the Lord and worked by his side witnessing the many miracles he performed for three years! That would be the best, but although he had a testimony of Christ and his teachings... he wasn't truly converted. He denied Christ three times after the three years he spent working with him. After that peter wept bitterly and knew what he had done.This story serves as a reminder to me that knowing to do right, even desiring to do right is not enough. It is often very hard to do what we clearly know we should do.... Peter became steadfast and immovable to this gospel after that experience and was truly converted. Having just a testimony of this gospel isn't enough for us to get through the challenges and temptations that this life throws at us. I know i'm out here on a mission serving and helping people become converted but i cant and no one can convert beyond their own conversion. we must all be converted ourselves. But it isn't always easy to do that... just like it wasn't easy for peter when he was with and working with the Lord for so long....
In Joshua 7:10 it reads “And the Lord said unto Joshua, get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?” I love this scripture because it shows that Satan will do anything to try and drag us down, discourage us, makes us feel inadequate and put us on our face. However, as we hold onto Christ and look up towards him and gain our strength and motivation from him and his atoning sacrifice he will help us get up off of our face and we will be able to feel the power of conversion working in our own lives. Hold onto Christ, be steadfast, and as we truly strive to be converted ourselves, we will be more willing and able to help those around us feel of the power of the spirit and help them receive this gospel.
President Ezra Taft Benson said “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take the people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature….”
I know that as we all become more converted to this gospel that our desire to share it will increase and it will become a lot more easier! I know that i am out here to convert people but if anything i hope that i become my own biggest convert! I'm so grateful to be out here serving. It is the best experience.... i get to meet people i normally never would talk to and i get to have experiences and witness miracles that i wouldn't be able to if i were home! I love you all! Have a good week!! XOXO